Last weekend, I finished the final chapter of Matt Davis’ book: The Vampire Hunter’s Field Guide – A Survivor’s Guide to Narcissistic Abuse – after 150 hours of recording, editing and processing.
If you’re interested in how audiobooks are made (that is, those not done posh studios, but in home studios like mine), the narrator is very often the producer and has to acquire and develop a new set of skills, in addition to those required for actually reading the book. Some narrators are able to sub-contract the editing/processing side of things, but I am nowhere near that stage – yet. The mechanics are as follows:
- Reading the book – to gain an overall understanding of its story/themes/plot/characters/structure
- Marking-up the script – this assists the recording process as a means of inserting pauses, taking breaths, changes of mood or the introduction of various characters
- Identifying and creating the narrator’s ‘voice’ and the voices/accents of other characters, if any
- Getting properly hydrated – drinking plenty of room temperature water, at least two hours prior to recording, so that the mouth, larynx, vocal cords etc. are properly lubricated. It also reduces mouth noise and clicks – which only add to the processing time when they have to be removed. No caffeine, no sugary drinks and definitely no booze
- Warming-up prior to recording – this is vital. It allows the narrator to relax and to ensure consistency over several sessions, if the recording is done over a period of days
- Recording the script – often done in manageable chunks, as reading for hours on end can kill your vocal cords
- Processing/editing – apart from removing fluffs and distracting breaths, this can involve the removal of weird mouth noises (no one likes a stranger making slurping noises in your ear while you’re trying to concentrate on something else – well, some people might). It’s basically knocking the recording into shape, prior to treatment with the audio software
- Finally, the application of equalisation/compression/normalisation that will ensure the product meets ACX/Audible’s standards on uniformity of recording and a comfortable listen for the customer
I was fortunate to receive regular feedback from the author, which was handy with a long book such as this (approx 12.5 hours), as it allowed for corrections to be made ‘on the fly’, rather than a whole load when the book was finished. To cut a long story short (no pun intended) Matt approved the final product on Tuesday and we are now waiting for Audible/ACX to review the audio files prior to their approval – then it should be headed to retail in 2-3 weeks.
We intend to have a launch party/occasion/event, as Matt never had a formal launch of the paperback when it was published in March 2019. We’re hoping to get the actor Gemma Oaten involved, as she wrote the forword and was personally affected for many years by the issues the book investigates and discusses. It falls into the category of ‘self-help’ and would also be suitable for recommendation by counselling practitioners to their clients.
If any readers would like a copy for review, please message me or email me at email@example.com and I will arrange for you to receive a free copy of the audiobook.
I’ll be back when the Field guide is available on Audible/iTunes, along with news of my next two productions: the first of a short series of novellas from Jemahl Evans, about the early life of Thomas Becket:
And a series of short stories from Indonesian author Dimas Rio – here is a review from bestsellersworld.com:
Until then, happy listening.